(Liz Claiborne Turquoise Leather Handbag – $1 at a yard sale this weekend. I do not “need” another handbag, but I just couldn’t pass on one of my favorite colors.)

Living the 80% off Lifestyle and Loving it has become one of my requested topic titles for various gatherings engagements. As I outline an upcoming talk,  I had fun re-reading about these trash to treasure finds, and thought I would repost it since it’s such a integral part of our family finance savings strategy.

I can’t wait for yard sale season to kick off in full force.

Heading out yard sale-ing on Saturdays is more than just the thrill of a treasure hunt, although that is definitely part of it, it’s a lifestyle. It’s a fun, quirky, creative, odd, green and resourceful lifestyle.

In fact, it’s a critical part of how I maintain an 80% off lifestyle, while saving over $100,000.

I’ve shared before Why I chose to shop Yard sale and Buy Thrift (even when financially I don’t have to) as well as  Thrifting  as a lifestyle, but my one hour this weekend reminded me of just how my early morning yard sale jaunts, multiplied by years of thrifting, equals six digits in savings.

Yes, I would not hesitate to say that over two decades of thrifting, I have easily saved over $100, 000.

Between wardrobes for seven people, household necessities, appliances, toys, presents, home decor, bedding, furniture, tools, and so much more, I “guesstimate” a savings of $5K/year (some years, much more).

This estimate is based solely on thrifting, yard sales, and classified ads.  If I were to include our purchases of cars at auto auctions, or the other unique ways I save, like salvage stores, it would be even more.

I’ll go into more detail on future posts, but here’s just a sampling of what I found in one hour.

Gallons of dish washing detergent, liquid body soap, as well as 20 bars of pure and natural oatmeal soap – all for $5.

Three Clark Howard finance books – $0.50/piece. I love reading all differing views on Personal Finance.

As much as I have shared my love for all things Pottery Barn Style and my Pottery Barn Taste, their dough bowls run between $199 (on sale)  – $300. This may not be quite a match, but for $1.50, this will grace our table all fall long.

Imagine leaves, pumpkins, hot homemade Butternhorn Rolls or Gratitude Rolls straight out of the oven, and more.

The best part about yard sales are the simple surprises that you would never go looking for at a store. I have fallen in love with this set of eight turkey napkin rings for $1. It’s these little items that add a special touch to tablescapes. These will adorn the kids’ Thanksgiving table and I am always on the look out for unique holiday items. Buy ahead for those special occasions and you’ll be so thankful you did once that celebration arrives.

Picking up quality linens and tablecloths are always on my radar.

Saturday, I picked up a Christmas table cloth (not pictured) and last weekend, I snatched this unique red tablecloth that will be perfect for my Valentine’s Day table both for $1. Often, sellers have tons of linens stuck in Rubbermaids, and unless you are willing to dig, you miss the gems hidden under the junk.

If you are nervous about entertaining because of presentation, know that you can create beautiful looks and creative centerpieces for pennies on the dollar.

Remember my Pottery Barn inspired girls bedroom? Well, I gasped with delight at these for only $2. They will be perfect for my PB window treatments. (Don’t miss the Pottery Barn inspired Butterfly Chandelier either.)

Now, while most of these items were fun finds, I consider the large stockpile of soap that I purchased worth the entire trip. It’s those items that I would purchase anyhow, and since Natural Oatmeal soap is not one of those items found with coupons, it was a double win.

So, while waking up at 6:15 am on my one morning to sleep in, isn’t ideal, it’s worth every literal penny. 🙂

Living an 80% off lifestyle means I save where I choose, so that I can spend and give more generously where I want.

Have you done any lately to lean towards an 80% off lifestyle? Any fun finds or treasures?

31days beauty budget wide Balancing the Budget with Pottery Barn Taste